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Mar Biotechnol (NY). 2001 May;3(3):264-74.

RFLP analysis of mitochondrial DNA to evaluate genetic variation in striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus L.) and red mullet (Mullus barbatus L.) populations.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly, 26 Ploutonos Street 41221, Larissa, Greece.


The genetic differentiation of striped red mullet (Mullus surmuletus) and red mullet (Mullus barbatus) was investigated in 6 Mediterranean populations of each species by means of restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of mitochondrial DNA. Three segments amplified by polymerase chain reaction (control region, COI, and 12S-16S ribosomal RNA) were digested with 20 restriction endonucleases, revealing 71 haplotypes for M. surmuletus and 30 for M. barbatus. For the two species nucleotide diversity was equally distributed within and among populations, leading to N(ST) values of 0.545 and 0.500 for M. surmuletus and M. barbatus, respectively. However, intrapopulation and interpopulation genetic structuring appeared to be much higher for M. surmuletus than for M. barbatus (1.88% vs. 0.46% of mean intrapopulation nucleotide diversity; 1.94% vs. 0.47% of mean interpopulation nucleotide diversity; 0.055% vs. 0.002% of net interpopulation divergence). Furthermore, 81.69% of the haplotypes observed for M. surmuletus were unique, whereas 70.29% of M. barbatus individuals were grouped in 3 common haplotypes. Given that fishing pressure and population sizes are similar for both species, this differentiation could be attributed to differences in biological parameters and life histories between the two species, coupled with oceanographic conditions prevailing in the studied area.

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